Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham
There is a Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham attached to the church. A votive mass to our Lady is said normally on the first Saturday of the month, at 8 am. The Angelus is also said regularly.
Every three months we have a special mass in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham. Each meeting starts with a mass followed by a shared breakfast.
This meets next on Saturday 4 February, 2023, at 9 am for mass followed by breakfast in the Cafe.
For more information about the story of Our Lady of Walsingham see here for the Shrine website in the UK.
St George the Martyr, Goodwood
LAST SATURDAY, eight gathered at St George’s to re-invigorate our local Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham. My thanks to Tim Hender for organising this and my welcome to our new members, especially those from St Paul’s Port Adelaide.
We started the day with the rite of blessing holy water in the garden, by the shrine of Our Lady there, and then received the blessed water in our hands, a custom many of you would know from the Holy Well at Walsingham. The statue outside has its own story – originally it was a plaster statue of Our Lady that was at Broken Hill but then exiled as too popish, so it came to us, and after many years, was replaced with a more weather resistant version.
For the sermon I talked a little about the history of the Shrine Statue, and the toadstone. Erasmus, in his visit to the Shrine in the 16th C, shortly before its destruction, recounted how a toadstone was on the foot of the statue. A toadstone, which was actually from the round fossilised teeth of an extinct fish, was reputedly grown in the head of a poisonous toad, and was therefore an antidote to the poison. People who touched a toadstone would therefore find an antidote to other poisons. As a result, it was highly prized in the Middle Ages, especially by Lords and Monarchs who were fearful of being poisoned by their less loyal subjects. In some statues of Our Lady of Walsingham there is a carved toad beneath Our Lady’s foot to symbolise this, although some confusion has arisen and it is said sometimes that the toad itself is a sign of evil under Our Lady’s foot, like the serpent. It also helps us to imagine what the original shrine was like, with pilgrims coming to the statue of Our Lady touching the toadstone by her foot.
We finished our day with breakfast in our new café, Hey George. We will meet again on the first Saturday in February, the 4th.